Hi Friends, It’s said that the two biggest issues that lead to a marriage breaking up and ending in divorce are money and communication. Finances are a whole different issue – they’re part of the business side of your marriage.
How about the intimate side of your marriage? This is where communication comes in, and where many couples hit the proverbial wall. And if one of you has committed infiedelity this can further unhinge already poor communication
When you talk to your spouse, what’s going on behind the words, the anger, and the barriers of your heart? In this blog, we’ll explore what may be happening when you talk with your spouse that may be further driving a wedge between you – and risking your marriage ending in divorce Let’s go…
Predictor of Marriage Success or Failure
You and your spouse are in the midst of a disagreement over an issue, whether it’s whose turn it is to do the dishes to how one of you made what was perceived as a belittling comment to the other over dinner.
If your marriage struggles involve communication characterized by arguments, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It’s what type of environment you both create as a couple when it comes to resolving issues. If one or the other of you digs in and refuses to see the other one’s point of view, this is more problematic than the arguing itself.
Let me explain. Research in couples theerapy has naturally examined the role of how couples communicate to see what separates a marriage that succeeds from one that fails.
Brent Atkinson, a Ph.D. with the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Northern Illinois University, has studied marriage therapy research that spans the past 30 years, as well as current neurological research. What he has found is one predictor of long-term marriage success: does each spouse give equal regard to the other?
This means that when you are engaged in a conversation or argument with your spouse, are you able to honestly provide an environment for your spouse that allows them to express their feelings, and you hold those feelings in equal regard to your own as being just as valid – even when you don’t necessarily agree with their point of view?
Dr. Atkinson also found that it may not appear evident at the beginning of an argument: both successful and doomed couples can argue with equal abandon, working hard to persuade the other to their point of view. They may have criticized their spouse, shouted and otherwise let the steam roll out of their ears. But it was the end that counts most: did each spouse give the other equal regard and not take offense at what their partner shared, instead allowing that the other spouse’s feelings were valid?
Remember that what we experience in life is our own perception. You have your perception, your spouse has theirs. There is no “right” way to perceive an issue or event – it’s as individual as you are. If your spouse made a comment to you over dinner that you perceived as insensitive, your feeling is not invalid just because your spouse didn’t mean for the comment to come across as insensitive.
This is part of what builds an intimate relationship: understanding the nuances of one another and how you each perceive things. You may never agree on perception, but you can learn to communicate better so that you and your spouse both feel safe enough to share your perceptions, accepting that they are real to each of you, and acknowledged as having valid viewpoints.
But there may be one thing holding you back.
The Key Ingredient to Marriage Repair
New studies in marriage science have uncovered what happy couples do differently than those who divorce.
- The # 1 predictor of divorce
- New ways to connect emotionally
- How to heal after an argument
- How to rebuild respect again
- How to open up without getting hurt
Get Past Accepting Spouse’s Viewpoint as a Threat
For some, accepting another person’s point of view in an argument is threatening to them. If you give in to your spouse and accept their points, does that mean an end to you and your valid points?
Some spouses will “cave” to the other spouse, while inside, they’re thinking “your arguments are invalid, but in order to keep the peace…” This leads to contempt of one’s partner – a sure-fire indicator of ultimate marriage failure.
What you need to work on is your own perception, and try a different means of resolving conflicts in your marriage. Here are three steps to help you successfully resolve conflict with your spouse while removing any sense of threat to your own well-being and point of view